Mr. Dave Trembley may not have a job for long. I am just here to debate over the pros and cons of Dave as a manager. Many fans still do like him, although most are beyond frustrated with some of his coaching decisions that they want him out asap.
There are three main aspects of baseball: hitting, pitching, and defense. I stick baserunning in their with hitting, only because I feel like if you hit you need to be able to make your way around the bases too.
With hitting this season, Dave has been mixing up the lineup. Not just a guy moving one spot up or down, but day to day flipping the lineup upside down. It’s debatable whether this is good or not, but I tend to go with skip on this one. Until something consistently works, there’s no reason to stick with any formal plan. By working, I don’t mean that you have to win every single game or else switch things up, but at least getting some strings of hits together in games and figuring out who works best in front of and behind certain guys. Some think he must just put the names in a hat and pull them out. Soon enough, Atkins will be leading off with Izturis cleaning up.
People say situational hitting isn’t there. We have seen many times where the right call for the right type of hitting was made, but guys cannot seem to get balls down at the right time, deep in the air at the right time, or even hits at any time. Crowley may be good, but the players need to be at a certain level already to be on a major league club, or else nobody at this level can help them.
Baserunning. Lots of people complain that we don’t steal, and that we
make errors on the base paths. I know he is part of it, but come on,
that’s up to Shelby and Samuel to fix. That’s all they get paid to do.
Pitching has been a big issue up and down for the O’s. For the most part, except for the occasional mishap, our starting rotation has been quite consistent and strong, which is something that O’s fans are not used to. The issues come down to our bullpen. There are times, even weeks, where the ‘pen is able to close out games and look perfect throughout, then others (like with Gonzo, and this past Saturday night), where it looks like we have nobody to trust there. A lot of it is just the player’s performance. Dave has no power over how guys do, he just picks and chooses who goes in out of the set of arms he has provided to him. People blame him for bullpen breakdowns, but I see no reason to. He goes by the book and sometimes takes some risks, just as any coach should, and the guys MacPhail has given him just aren’t always working out.
Ignoring the three fundamental categories above, Dave is also a fun guy… sort of. The big pro for Trembley is how he relates to the guys. He has lots of experience coaching down in the minor leagues, so it is actually quite useful that he has the communication skills for a ballclub like this one to be able to communicate well with a core of raw, young talent.
The communication, though, seems to stop there. Last night, his press conference was only 2 mins and 10 secs. That’s it. Not sure if the media ran out of questions for him (I hope that’s not it, because I have tons) or if they are just frustrated with his generalized answers. Yes, coaches and people in other organizations have been known to be short and broad with their answers at these things, but those guys are usually with winning clubs, so nobody cares. O’s fans want answers, and they want them now.
My issue is that we will never know where the problem really is. I have always loved Trembley with this club, because of the communication I spoke about above with the players. MacPhail provides him with a group of guys, and he has to work with what he gets. Where I get confused is to how much MacPhail is allowed to spend on guys, and how much say Trembley has in those decisions to enhance the ballclub. There’s no reason Trembley should be blamed for the horrible seasons by Atkins at the plate and Tejada at 3rd so far, since those moves were clearly not his doing. I feel like more is put on the man than he deserves only because so little is really up to him. The pitching is Kranny; the hitting is Crow. Trembley has these guys mindsets in his hands, and I think the team needs to just come together when they have an off day and just gel.
Well, as you read, I am more for Trembley than against. Specifically, people got upset with his decision Saturday night to put Simon in and not leave Uehara in after a great 8th. There is no reason why you don’t go with a guy there when he is someone you have been relying on lately to save. He may be risky at times, but no coach would have played that any differently. You will never see Girardi keep Joba in for the 9th and hold out Mariano just because the 8th was solid. Another thing Saturday was people arguing about replacing Wigginton with Lugo. Every coach would have done that also. Yea, in the end, it didn’t help in the bottom of the 9th to have Wigginton out. But look at it: You have a two run lead going into the 9th. If you can get 3 outs then you can go home and forget the bottom of the inning completely. To get those outs, you want a good defensive backup. On any day, any coach would want Lugo at the middle infield positions over Wigginton. Wigginton may be a good fill-in guy, but Lugo is the one with the glove.
A few speculations as to his job. Could be fired after the game tonight, win or loss, but because it will lead into a roadtrip to give a new guy a fresh start without dealing with the home crowd. Could be after the roadtrip; where the team is playing in DC on Sunday and it could be done that night or the off day Monday to give the new coach a chance to settle in for a day and meet the guys (unless it is someone like Datz, who knows them by now). Or it could be in June. Or never. Who knows. I hope MacPhail just realizes how a lot of this is not Dave’s fault, but more his. The team needs to see that more blame needs to be put on the players, not the coaches.
We will see what the O’s decide to do. I think it would be sad if Trembley is dismissed without being given a shot with a true team, but that’s how life works I guess. Angelos needs to shell out some cash for some guys, or else we will never be able to compete. No one is playing well in Norfolk, so why is it all Dave’s fault that his entire organization is playing poorly? Who knows. Good luck to Dave.
As I said in an earlier entry, the next few weeks may be scarce interms of my entries, and most likely will not have game summaries and info on a daily basis. Still trying to get out a post every day or two about different topics. Since I have baseball games myself also, I did not get to catch the first few innings of each Yankee game, so that’s another reason why I am behind.
As for this entry. I have a question for the O’s. What the hell happened? The whole Boston series, the team looked legitimate. May have lost 2 of 3, but were in all 3 games, showed tons of patience and hitting, and kept up with positive starting pitching. The bad part was the bullpen, specifically Albers who blew the two games we lost in that series. The good part was that the bats were coming alive. We were having double digit hit games, multi-hit games for a lot of guys, and the bats of Markakis and Jones looked to be coming back.
The O’s arrived back in Baltimore, and decided to just stick with the trends from the beginning of the season after beating the Yankees on Tuesday. While Sabathia and Burnett were on top of their games, specifically Burnett who pitched his best stuff in a long time (unfortunately it had to come against us), but why did the bats just die. At least against Sabathia we got some hits, but it just looked flat out horrible. We lost the touch that the guys were able to find against the Red Sox on Sunday and the Yankees on Tuesday to bring guys in who were on base and not rack up the LOB statistic. Wednesday went back to the old crap where we get hits all spread apart and not score. Last night was just horrific. We had 3 total hits, and the whole lineup just looked out of it, specifically Wieters. The last two nights he has look mezmorized at the plate. Not sure what is going on, but I am hoping Crowley can help him get back on track to hitting .300+. He dropped below .300 last night, which is hard to see when he was one of the positive aspects of our offense before. Wigginton continued his hitting with one hit in each of the two past games. Who would have guessed Cesar Izturis would be our hottest bat at any time in the season. More to come on him later. I want to write a post about it, but might wait to see how he does vs. Lackey tonight.
The bullpen went back to the ‘Opposite Day’ concept. Here is what the stats and happenings are for the bullpen guys:
-Albers has pitched 2.1 innings (1 IP Wed. and 1.1 IP Thurs.) and in those outings only let one hit thru and got a K. He looks to have gotten his fastball under control. That is a good sign since he is a guy the team is hoping to build with for the future in the ‘pen.
-Castillo was brought up and had solid innings before yesterday of strikeouts and no runs. Unfortunately for him, he was brought in to face Robbie Cano, who smacked his 2nd HR of the night off of Castillo’s low speed side arm on the 2nd pitch.
-Hendrickson and Meredith both pitched an inning on Wednesday. The difficult part of this one is that neither looked bad. They both looked on top of their stuff, just the Yankees lineup is overpowering and talented. Luckily, between the 2.1 innings they pitched, they only let up 1 ER, but had 7 hits combined. Would have been more runs but Hendrickson inherited some Guthrie allowed hits.
-Berken and Ohman came in for 9th inning pitching in the 2 games. Berken smoothly got 2 outs, and Ohman got 3 with 2 Ks and 1 H. Sad that they couldn’t be for saves.
Just looks like the pitching is going downhill. Starters haven’t looked stellar. Sorry to Matusz, but you threw some ugly pitches. Overall, still looked great, but against a team like the Yankees, you can’t even give up one bad pitch without paying the price. Guthrie just was disgusting.
Hopefully this weekend the O’s can rebuild on their offense and the power they have shown a little bit lately. My hopes are for Wieters to get back with it, Jones to have a 3-3 or 4-4 night (he sincerely needs it), and Markakis keeps the slugging up. The reason I think those things are most important are because they are the heart of the lineup and that has been troubling all season.